Intuit uses their QuickBooks Connect show to introduce new and upcoming products and features, so here’s my take on the items that interested me at QuickBooks Connect 2017. I’m picking out some highlights from all of the announcements and presentations from the show.
It is interesting to see that several of the announcements this year are fulfillments of promises made at last year’s show. However, many of the announcements Intuit made at this show have already been covered by articles in the Accountex Report earlier this year, so I won’t go into details regarding those.
This article covers:
- QuickBooks Assistant
- QuickBooks Capital
- Lighter Capital Intuit Developer Fund
- Upcoming Find-A-ProAdvisor Website Improvements
- QuickBooks Desktop (yes, I said desktop!)
- The $100K App Showdown
Earlier this year, in my article QuickBooks Online Is the Future for Intuit, I talked about how “machine learning” was going to be a key development for QuickBooks Online. This, along with Intuit’s use of aggregated data, and detailed analysis of your data, could be one of the most powerful advances in accounting systems in the future.
QuickBooks Assistant was introduced as an example of this. It is a “virtual assistant” that is available to users of QuickBooks Self Employed for iOS and Android devices, and it will be available soon for QuickBooks Online.
Simply ask a question (keying it in, or using voice) and the QuickBooks Assistant will attempt to answer. For example, as shown below, you can ask “What have I made this year?”
The system responds with a specific answer, including a date range so that you know what time period is being covered. It goes beyond that direct answer to include additional helpful information like the profit margin, shown just under the net income value.
There is a series of buttons along the bottom of the answer screen that are context-sensitive, so you can easily dig in to the issue further. Or, you can continue refining the response simply by continuing your conversation with the application.
Keep in mind that this is an automated “chatbot.” It is not a live support technician answering you, it is an automated system that will respond immediately and is available 24 hours a day. You won’t be waiting in a phone queue for the next available support technician, and the answers will be based on your data immediately.
It is hard to show you how useful this will be just from a static screen shot. I’m going to be very interested in playing with this once it is available in QuickBooks Online. Keep in mind, though, that this is new technology and it is going to take some time for Intuit to fulfill its potential. Since I’m the kind of person who likes to test the limits of an application, plus I have a very twisted sense of humor, I am going to have a lot of fun testing this!